“Civic pride is taking responsibility to do the ‘little’ things that make a ‘big’ difference.” – Jane Kampbell
Cultivating a sense of community in Brooklyn is necessary for the quality of life we deserve. Every Brooklynite – neighbors, local officials, service clubs, religious organizations – must do their part to cultivate a strong sense of community in Brooklyn. But first we must understand what a sense of community is.
What is a sense of community?
A sense of community is NOT a collection of buildings and streets in a particular area. A sense of community:
- Is the feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself or your family
- Connects people to each other
- Is people building each other up
- Is people supporting each other in good times and in bad
Why should we cultivate a sense of community in Brooklyn?
It is critical to Brooklyn’s future success. When we feel a strong sense of community, we are driven to take action. We desire to take part in improving or supporting the well-being of our community. Those who see a sense of community happening are compelled to do the same. Community improvement and self-sufficiency become contagious. Momentum is created. This brings us together as a community and makes us proud to live, work and play in Brooklyn.
A strong sense of community:
- attracts new investment in our community and local economy. It keeps local businesses in business.
- discourages litter, graffiti and criminal activity. It increases the property values of homes and businesses.
- helps support our education system
- encourages volunteering and personal responsibility
A community with a strong sense of community believes in itself. It is able to rise above and overcome challenges through the strength and support of its people. A community without a strong sense of community depends on others to take care of its needs. A strong sense of community in Brooklyn is essential for:
- clean and safe streets and neighborhoods
- support for local businesses
- vital community organizations
- fruitful educational opportunities
- low crime
How is a sense of community cultivated?
A sense of community in Brooklyn won’t just happen. It must be cultivated or nurtured to make a difference in our Brooklyn community now and in the future. Children, too, must be taught to take pride in their Brooklyn community. A sense of community can be cultivated in the following ways:
- Take personal responsibility to do simple things such as sweeping walks and picking up trash in your neighborhood
- Take responsibility for the well-being of your neighbors as well as yourself
- Keep your home and/or business clean and in good repair. Well-maintained neighborhoods are attractive and inviting for children and families.
- Keep our Brooklyn streets, sidewalks, paths and parks free of damage and ruin. Discourage litter, graffiti and vandalism.
- Support local businesses in Brooklyn
- Participate in local organizations and community events such as dinners, dances, festivals, school functions, service clubs, churches, chamber of commerce, etc.
- Clear Brooklyn’s vacant lots of trash and debris
- Work to prevent crime
- Get involved in the preservation of Brooklyn’s historic sites and scenic areas
- Volunteer to serve in the education of our students
- Grow and maintain a garden (How To Grow A Garden In Brooklyn)
- Appreciate and support local agriculture
- Emphasize individual responsibility and community solutions
- Encourage volunteering in schools, churches and community groups
- Start a “yard-of-the-month” program with local media in Brooklyn
- Recognize and reward those who do good deeds in our Brooklyn community
- Promote residents to shop at local businesses and use local services
- Use volunteer groups for projects that will benefit the beauty and cleanliness of our Brooklyn community
- Reach out to and encourage commuters to participate in their Brooklyn community and to shop locally
- Host and share information for clean-up days and volunteer activities
- Set strong but fair standards for our Brooklyn neighborhoods and stores
- Host annual clean-up days to give Brooklynites a regular opportunity to rid homes and yards of junk and debris
Cultivating a strong sense of community must start with you. Make the best of what you have. Keep your yard clean and orderly. Paint and touch up your home and/or business. Keep your yard mowed. These are simple ways to begin displaying and building a sense of community in Brooklyn.
If you’d like more information or ideas on how you can cultivate a sense of community in Brooklyn, call Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate in Brooklyn is proud to live, work and play in Brooklyn.